Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Canada's UN Reform Plan

Our UN Ambassador Allan Rock last week introduced a resolution to the General Assembly on the topic of UN reform. In his resolution he calls for the incensement of the Security Council to 25 positions, adding 10 two-year non-renewable positions. The resolution and the new government specific position on UNSC reform in the end is counterproductive and simply not good policy.

The UN issued in December its report from its High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change which called for the expansion of the UNSC to 24 seats in two possible configurations. One was adding new permanent not veto wielding members and the second was adding some new six year renewal seats. I favour the second way personally as it seems to be the only option that could be passed. The first option pushed by what is being called the G-4: Brazil, Germany, Japan and India has little chance of ever moving past the idea stage. Pakistan would oppose India, Italy would oppose Germany, China-Japan and Argentina-Brazil. The second method allows for long term security seats but at the same time not indefinite. In ten, twenty or thirty years the configuration of global power states could be radically different.

Back to Canada's position on this. After the report was released Canada like all countries applauded it and then went into hiding. Allan Rock did a few speeches, the PM released a statement but little on Canada's specific position was given. Later in the spring we learned they did not favour the first proposal of adding the new arrangement of not-veto members but last week we learn that they are not in favour of either of the proposals.

So now Canada and backed by Argentina, Italy, Mexico, Pakistan, South Korea, Spain, Turkey and some other smaller nations want a whole new reform idea, something which on its own is a near impossibility. The fact is the UN needs to be reformed and member states needed to pick a plan (if any reform plan at all) and push it. Not decide to move back to the drawing table.

The faults in the new Canada backed plan are many, simply adding more 2 year term members does little to the council and does not recognize the changing global leadership structure outside of the US that we all want to happen. Adding longer term renewable seats allows for these countries to take their seat at the table and have a minor leg to stand on when challenging the so called "great powers". Nobody talks about fixing the UNSC for good reason, since it cannot be done but they are talking about bring credibility to the council. It is time to reach out to Africa, Latin America and the new economic powers by giving them a little more then some more token seats. The idea being that these new longer seats will be used to elected regional power-players of sorts. It is time Canada pushes a for real reform by promoting one of the proposed and widely backed suggestions so that meaningful reform happens.


  • At 12:23 PM, Blogger Lookout Mountain said…

    Canada's UN reform plan takes into account the main planks of the United Nations and why it is still around as a somewhat credible source. It preserves the veto, it limits the veto to the original P5 (the only other country even close to qualifying would be India). It expands the scope of debate in the council. Also, by having seats with renewable terms, nations such as Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Iran could be quasi semi permenant members (althoguh without a veto). the elected members have technically had a veto aswell, just 6 members would have to vote no to overrule the other members.
    This seems like the most rational solution that does not upset the current balance of power. The UN has prevented wired conflict in our time.

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  • At 6:35 PM, Blogger Captain Canuck said…

    Thge UN is about as corrupt as the liberal party of Canada, did you hear about the oil-for-food scandal?

    Or how about the Congo, Sierre Leone, Kosovo where over a million people died in massive genocide and the UN did nothing.

    The UN is about as incompetent as liberals.

    Canada has little credibility on foreign aid or peacekeeping, we are at the bottom of the list for out contributions.

    I would rather change the corrupt government in Canada than worry about the inept UN


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